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OPINION

Confessions of a SAG Awards voter

By Courtney Jacquin

For RedEye

1:40 PM CST, January 15, 2014

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I'm not afraid to admit I peaked at age 4.

Perhaps there's still more to come for me, but at the moment the high point of my life is my short-lived career as a child actor in the mid- to late-1990s. Luckily, I get to relive that glory every year when I vote for the SAG awards, which will be handed out Saturday.

My role in the short-lived CBS series "EZ Streets" earned me my Screen Actor's Guild membership in 1996. I also appeared in an episode of "Late Edition" and an extremely cute McDonald's commercial. But enough about my former career. Since earning my SAG membership, I've been keeping up my dues so I can carry around the card, feel vaguely important and vote for the SAG Awards yearly even though I have no intention of going back into acting ever again.

I'm not very talented.

It might seem silly to keep paying my dues, but I guarantee the money I spend yearly is made up in what I save on movie tickets during awards season.

I didn't always take the noble task of voting so seriously. When I was a kid I'm pretty sure my parents voted for me. When I got a little older it turned into, "Oh yeah, I watch 'Will & Grace' with my parents, I'll vote for that and other random actresses I've heard of before." Very scientific stuff.

But over the past six years or so, I've fallen in love with film and TV. Award show season is by far my favorite time of the year. I just spent Sunday cheering like a madwoman from my bed as Amy Poehler won her first Golden Globe and screaming much harsher words as "American Hustle" won for best comedy or musical. (Really, did I miss something with this film? Please, tell me.)

I highly doubt I'll ever become a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and I'll certainly never be a part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but as a SAG member I get to make a contribution, tiny albeit, yet still a contribution to my favorite season each year.

The movie screeners are usually shipped in late December, a nice reprieve for my mailbox between Internet bills and "You've been approved!" credit card junk.

I've taken up the task of seeing as many of these films as possible in my free time. I'll admit I still haven't seen "Philomena" or "Blue Jasmine," but I've covered pretty much everything else. Though not many others are, I can laud June Squibb's performance in "Nebraska." I can give all the awards to "Breaking Bad." And none to "American Hustle." Bye.

If I were a real actress, would I care this much? Does Julia Roberts vote for her co-star Meryl Streep or herself? Does she have someone on her staff go through the trouble of finding her SAG number and award voting PIN? Or does she let the deadline float by without a care, seeing as she's too busy trying to find another shirt to wear under her dress for the ceremony Saturday evening.

All I know is, I sure as hell care.

The "20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards" will air at 7 p.m. Saturday on TNT and TBS.

Courtney Jacquin is a RedEye special contributor.

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